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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 158390 matches for " Santiago F. Elena "
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Structural Discrimination of Robustness in Transcriptional Feedforward Loops for Pattern Formation
Guillermo Rodrigo,Santiago F. Elena
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016904
Abstract: Signaling pathways are interconnected to regulatory circuits for sensing the environment and expressing the appropriate genetic profile. In particular, gradients of diffusing molecules (morphogens) determine cell fate at a given position, dictating development and spatial organization. The feedforward loop (FFL) circuit is among the simplest genetic architectures able to generate one-stripe patterns by operating as an amplitude detection device, where high output levels are achieved at intermediate input ones. Here, using a heuristic optimization-based approach, we dissected the design space containing all possible topologies and parameter values of the FFL circuits. We explored the ability of being sensitive or adaptive to variations in the critical morphogen level where cell fate is switched. We found four different solutions for precision, corresponding to the four incoherent architectures, but remarkably only one mode for adaptiveness, the incoherent type 4 (I4-FFL). We further carried out a theoretical study to unveil the design principle for such structural discrimination, finding that the synergistic action and cooperative binding on the downstream promoter are instrumental to achieve absolute adaptive responses. Subsequently, we analyzed the robustness of these optimal circuits against perturbations in the kinetic parameters and molecular noise, which has allowed us to depict a scenario where adaptiveness, parameter sensitivity and noise tolerance are different, correlated facets of the robustness of the I4-FFL circuit. Strikingly, we showed a strong correlation between the input (environment-related) and the intrinsic (mutation-related) susceptibilities. Finally, we discussed the evolution of incoherent regulations in terms of multifunctionality and robustness.
Quasispecies Spatial Models for RNA Viruses with Different Replication Modes and Infection Strategies
Josep Sardanyés, Santiago F. Elena
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024884
Abstract: Empirical observations and theoretical studies suggest that viruses may use different replication strategies to amplify their genomes, which impact the dynamics of mutation accumulation in viral populations and therefore, their fitness and virulence. Similarly, during natural infections, viruses replicate and infect cells that are rarely in suspension but spatially organized. Surprisingly, most quasispecies models of virus replication have ignored these two phenomena. In order to study these two viral characteristics, we have developed stochastic cellular automata models that simulate two different modes of replication (geometric vs stamping machine) for quasispecies replicating and spreading on a two-dimensional space. Furthermore, we explored these two replication models considering epistatic fitness landscapes (antagonistic vs synergistic) and different scenarios for cell-to-cell spread, one with free superinfection and another with superinfection inhibition. We found that the master sequences for populations replicating geometrically and with antagonistic fitness effects vanished at low critical mutation rates. By contrast, the highest critical mutation rate was observed for populations replicating geometrically but with a synergistic fitness landscape. Our simulations also showed that for stamping machine replication and antagonistic epistasis, a combination that appears to be common among plant viruses, populations further increased their robustness by inhibiting superinfection. We have also shown that the mode of replication strongly influenced the linkage between viral loci, which rapidly reached linkage equilibrium at increasing mutations for geometric replication. We also found that the strategy that minimized the time required to spread over the whole space was the stamping machine with antagonistic epistasis among mutations. Finally, our simulations revealed that the multiplicity of infection fluctuated but generically increased along time.
Virus Infection Suppresses Nicotiana benthamiana Adaptive Phenotypic Plasticity
Stéphanie Bedhomme,Santiago F. Elena
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017275
Abstract: Competition and parasitism are two important selective forces that shape life-histories, migration rates and population dynamics. Recently, it has been shown in various pathosystems that parasites can modify intraspecific competition, thus generating an indirect cost of parasitism. Here, we investigated if this phenomenon was present in a plant-potyvirus system using two viruses of different virulence (Tobacco etch virus and Turnip mosaic virus). Moreover, we asked if parasitism interacted with the shade avoidance syndrome, the plant-specific phenotypic plasticity in response to intraspecific competition. Our results indicate that the modification of intraspecific competition by parasitism is not present in the Nicotiana benthamiana – potyvirus system and suggests that this phenomenon is not universal but depends on the peculiarities of each pathosystem. However, whereas the healthy N. benthamiana presented a clear shade avoidance syndrome, this phenotypic plasticity totally disappeared when the plants were infected with TEV and TuMV, very likely resulting in a fitness loss and being another form of indirect cost of parasitism. This result suggests that the suppression or the alteration of adaptive phenotypic plasticity might be a component of virulence that is often overlooked.
The effect of genetic robustness on evolvability in digital organisms
Santiago F Elena, Rafael Sanjuán
BMC Evolutionary Biology , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-8-284
Abstract: Here, we use the Avida digital evolution platform to explore the effects of genetic robustness on evolvability. First, we obtained digital organisms with varying levels of robustness by evolving them under combinations of mutation rates and population sizes previously shown to select for different levels of robustness. Then, we assessed the ability of these organisms to adapt to novel environments in a variety of experimental conditions. The data consistently support that, for simple environments, genetic robustness fosters long-term evolvability, whereas, in the short-term, robustness is not beneficial for evolvability but may even be a counterproductive trait. For more complex environments, however, results are less conclusive.The finding that the effect of robustness on evolvability is time-dependent is compatible with previous results obtained using RNA folding algorithms and transcriptional regulation models. A likely scenario is that, in the short-term, genetic robustness hampers evolvability because it reduces the intensity of selection, but that, in the long-term, relaxed selection facilitates the accumulation of genetic diversity and thus, promotes evolutionary innovation.Evidence has accumulated during recent years suggesting that organisms can maintain their performance in the face of a broad range of perturbations [1,2]. This includes the tolerance of proteins to amino acid replacements [3], the ability of genetic networks to withstand alterations to its parts [4], the stability of cellular processes to the stochastic variations of gene expression levels [5], or the resilience of embryonic development to environmental or genetic changes [6]. In general, the term 'robustness' is used to describe this kind of behavior and, when mutations are the cause of perturbation, the term 'genetic robustness' or 'mutational robustness' is used. Many issues related to genetic robustness remain unresolved. For example, asserting that elevated robustness is a fundamental
Transcript Profiling of Different Arabidopsis thaliana Ecotypes in Response to Tobacco etch potyvirus Infection
José M. Cuevas,Santiago F. Elena
Frontiers in Microbiology , 2012, DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00229
Abstract: The use of high-throughput transcript profiling techniques has opened the possibility of identifying, in a single experiment, multiple host mRNAs whose levels of accumulation are altered in response to virus infection. Several studies have used this approach to analyze the response of Arabidopsis thaliana to the infection by different RNA and DNA viruses. However, the possible differences in response of genetically heterogeneous ecotypes of the plant to the same virus have never been addressed before. Here we have used a strain of Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) experimentally adapted to A. thaliana ecotype Ler-0 and a set of seven plant ecotypes to tackle this question. Each ecotype was inoculated with the same amount of the virus and the outcome of infection characterized phenotypically (i.e., virus infectivity, accumulation, and symptoms development). Using commercial microarrays containing probes for more than 43,000 A. thaliana transcripts, we explored the effect of viral infection on the plant transcriptome. In general, we found that ecotypes differ in the way they perceive and respond to the virus. Some ecotypes developed strong symptoms and accumulated large amounts of viral genomes, while others only developed mild symptoms and accumulated less virus. At the transcriptomic level, ecotypes could be classified into two groups according to the particular genes whose expression was altered upon infection. Moreover, a functional enrichment analyses showed that the two groups differed in the nature of the altered biological processes. For the group constituted by ecotypes developing milder symptoms and allowing for lower virus accumulation, genes involved in abiotic stresses and in the construction of new tissues tend to be up-regulated. For those ecotypes in which infection was more severe and productive, defense genes tend to be up-regulated, deviating the necessary resources from building new tissues.
Effect of Host Species on the Distribution of Mutational Fitness Effects for an RNA Virus
Jasna Lali?,José M. Cuevas,Santiago F. Elena
PLOS Genetics , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002378
Abstract: Knowledge about the distribution of mutational fitness effects (DMFE) is essential for many evolutionary models. In recent years, the properties of the DMFE have been carefully described for some microorganisms. In most cases, however, this information has been obtained only for a single environment, and very few studies have explored the effect that environmental variation may have on the DMFE. Environmental effects are particularly relevant for the evolution of multi-host parasites and thus for the emergence of new pathogens. Here we characterize the DMFE for a collection of twenty single-nucleotide substitution mutants of Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) across a set of eight host environments. Five of these host species were naturally infected by TEV, all belonging to family Solanaceae, whereas the other three were partially susceptible hosts belonging to three other plant families. First, we found a significant virus genotype-by-host species interaction, which was sustained by differences in genetic variance for fitness and the pleiotropic effect of mutations among hosts. Second, we found that the DMFEs were markedly different between Solanaceae and non-Solanaceae hosts. Exposure of TEV genotypes to non-Solanaceae hosts led to a large reduction of mean viral fitness, while the variance remained constant and skewness increased towards the right tail. Within the Solanaceae hosts, the distribution contained an excess of deleterious mutations, whereas for the non-Solanaceae the fraction of beneficial mutations was significantly larger. All together, this result suggests that TEV may easily broaden its host range and improve fitness in new hosts, and that knowledge about the DMFE in the natural host does not allow for making predictions about its properties in an alternative host.
One Is Enough: In Vivo Effective Population Size Is Dose-Dependent for a Plant RNA Virus
Mark P. Zwart ,José-Antonio Daròs,Santiago F. Elena
PLOS Pathogens , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002122
Abstract: Effective population size (Ne) determines the strength of genetic drift and the frequency of co-infection by multiple genotypes, making it a key factor in viral evolution. Experimental estimates of Ne for different plant viruses have, however, rendered diverging results. The independent action hypothesis (IAH) states that each virion has a probability of infection, and that virions act independent of one another during the infection process. A corollary of IAH is that Ne must be dose dependent. A test of IAH for a plant virus has not been reported yet. Here we perform a test of an IAH infection model using a plant RNA virus, Tobacco etch virus (TEV) variants carrying GFP or mCherry fluorescent markers, in Nicotiana tabacum and Capsicum annuum plants. The number of primary infection foci increased linearly with dose, and was similar to a Poisson distribution. At high doses, primary infection foci containing both genotypes were found at a low frequency (<2%). The probability that a genotype that infected the inoculated leaf would systemically infect that plant was near 1, although in a few rare cases genotypes could be trapped in the inoculated leaf by being physically surrounded by the other genotype. The frequency of mixed-genotype infection could be predicted from the mean number of primary infection foci using the independent-action model. Independent action appears to hold for TEV, and Ne is therefore dose-dependent for this plant RNA virus. The mean number of virions causing systemic infection can be very small, and approaches 1 at low doses. Dose-dependency in TEV suggests that comparison of Ne estimates for different viruses are not very meaningful unless dose effects are taken into consideration.
Differences in Accumulation and Virulence Determine the Outcome of Competition during Tobacco etch virus Coinfection
Guillaume Lafforgue,Josep Sardanyés,Santiago F. Elena
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017917
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of virulence for RNA viruses is essential for developing appropriate control strategies. Although it has been usually assumed that virulence is a consequence of within-host replication of the parasite, viral strains may be highly virulent without experiencing large accumulation as a consequence of immunopathological host responses. Using two strains of Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) that show a negative relationship between virulence and accumulation rate, we first explored the evolution of virulence and fitness traits during simple and mixed infections. Short-term evolution experiments initiated with each strain independently confirmed the genetic and evolutionary stability of virulence and viral load, although infectivity significantly increased for both strains. Second, competition experiments between hypo- and hypervirulent TEV strains have shown that the outcome of competition is driven by differences in replication rate. A simple mathematical model has been developed to analyze the dynamics of these two strains during coinfection. The model qualitatively reproduced the experimental results using biologically meaningful parameters. Further analyses of the model also revealed a wide parametric region in which a low-fitness but hypovirulent virus can still outcompete a high-fitness but hypervirulent one. These results provide additional support to the observation that virulence and within-host replication may not necessarily be strongly tied in plant RNA viruses.
Reverse-engineering the Arabidopsis thaliana transcriptional network under changing environmental conditions
Javier Carrera, Guillermo Rodrigo, Alfonso Jaramillo, Santiago F Elena
Genome Biology , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/gb-2009-10-9-r96
Abstract: We show that the A. thaliana regulatory network has the characteristic properties of hierarchical networks. We successfully applied our quantitative network model to predict the full transcriptome of the plant for a set of microarray experiments not included in the training dataset. We also used our model to analyze the robustness in expression levels conferred by network motifs such as the coherent feed-forward loop. In addition, the meta-analysis presented here has allowed us to identify regulatory and robust genetic structures.These data suggest that A. thaliana has evolved high connectivity in terms of transcriptional regulation among cellular functions involved in response and adaptation to changing environments, while gene networks constitutively expressed or less related to stress response are characterized by a lower connectivity. Taken together, these findings suggest conserved regulatory strategies that have been selected during the evolutionary history of this eukaryote.Living organisms have evolved molecular circuitries with the aim of promoting their own development under dynamically changing environments. In particular, plants are not able to evade those changes and have had to evolve robust methods to cope with environmental stress and recovery mechanisms. Genomic sequences specify the context-dependent gene expression programs to render cells, tissues, organs and, finally, organisms. Then, at any moment during the cell cycle and at each stage of an organism's development, and in response to environmental conditions, each cell is the product of specific and well defined programs involving the coordinated transcription of thousands of genes. Thus, the elucidation of such programs in terms of the regulatory interactions involved is pivotal for the understanding of how organisms have evolved and what environments may have conditioned evolutionary trajectories the most. However, we still have little understanding of how this highly tuned process is achiev
Evolutionary Constraints to Viroid Evolution
Santiago F. Elena,Gustavo Gómez,José-Antonio Daròs
Viruses , 2009, DOI: 10.3390/v1020241
Abstract: We suggest that viroids are trapped into adaptive peaks as the result of adaptive constraints. The first one is imposed by the necessity to fold into packed structures to escape from RNA silencing. This creates antagonistic epistases, which make future adaptive trajectories contingent upon the first mutation and slow down the rate of adaptation. This second constraint can only be surpassed by increasing genetic redundancy or by recombination. Eigen’s paradox imposes a limit to the increase in genome complexity in the absence of mechanisms reducing mutation rate. Therefore, recombination appears as the only possible route to evolutionary innovation in viroids.
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